REPORTAGE – Beyond the result and this 2-0 victory for the Netherlands over Senegal, find out what caught the attention of our journalist in Doha.
Special Envoy to Doha
De Jong, the maestro
Admittedly, the Netherlands did not shine much on Monday evening, at the Al-Thumama stadium in Doha. Senegal would have deserved to take at least one point in this meeting. Nevertheless, it was Louis van Gaal’s players who made the difference, they who were able to count on the talents of their playing master, Frenkie de Jong. The Barcelonan spent the game trying to make his team’s game smoother. A real washing machine. And it is therefore neither a coincidence nor a surprise to see him be at the origin of the first Dutch goal, a bell-shaped ball which completely unseated the defense and found the head of Cody Gakpo (84th, 2-0 final score). For the show, we will go back to the Netherlands. But the three points are there, that’s the main thing. And the return of Memphis Depay (replacing this Monday) will not hurt. Note that De Jong got tangled up in the first half, after a briskly counterattack. The painting would have been more beautiful.
The uproar of Senegalese fans
Finally, a World Cup atmosphere! Arriving en masse, the supporters of the Lions of Teranga put the dishes in the big Monday evening, pushing their favorite players with the strength and fervor that we know them. Coming out of the Al-Thumama stadium, our ears were still ringing after hearing said Senegalese fans drumming non-stop throughout the game. Sound and image, with the vanguard of this entirely made-up support army, dressed in the colors of the Senegalese flag. This is also the World Cup. The one we love.
A fridge named Al-Thumama
It was around 23-24 degrees during this third match of the 2022 World Cup. With a little gust of wind, we could even be a little cool around the (magnificent) Al-Thumama stadium. The organizers, however, found it interesting to connect the air conditioning. And not just a little… Without a sweater, it’s hard to enjoy the show on this Monday evening in Doha. It was (a little) less worse in the second half. In any case, one can wonder what use some find in making use of this famous air conditioning in these conditions, by these temperatures…
The glass two-thirds full
Not all tickets have been sold for this Group A match (ranking here) between Senegal and the Netherlands. If Fifa announces an influx of 41,721 spectators, in this stadium which can, a priori, accommodate 40,000, it is clear that this figure is a bit overvalued. No more than two-thirds of the seats were taken at kick-off. Too bad, the game was worth it. Besides, it was an attractive poster on paper. Obviously not enough for everyone’s taste…
Definitely, when it doesn’t want to… Outgoing African champions, the Senegalese landed in Qatar with the ambition to make sparks. Obviously, the football gods have no intention of helping them in this endeavor. The proof with this package from Sadio Mané, second in the last Ballon d’Or, just before the competition. This Monday, it was the turn of Abdou Diallo and Cheikhou Kouyate to come out on injury. The Senegalese however made a match of beautiful invoice, holding the dragee high with the Dutch selection. They finally demonstrated all the good one could think of them. Las, De Jong and company shone with their realism. Infuriating.
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